Shopify Review

OVERALL RATING 4.6 / 5.0
★★★★★
Features4.8 / 5.0
Ease of Use4.3 / 5.0
Pricing4.5 / 5.0
Reliability & Support4.5 / 5.0
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Toby Sembower

Toby Sembower,

Hosting Expert:

Shopify is an awesome resource if you're looking to build an exclusively ecommerce site. The Shopify experts understand merchants' needs and cater the company's fully hosted packages to meeting them. You pay a bit of a premium for added and advanced features, but it's pretty easy to find a plan that fits your expectations within your budget.

Category Ratings

We had one of our resident hosting experts, Toby Sembower, sign up for a Shopify account and take it for a spin. Below are Toby’s ratings of the Shopify experience, broken down by the types of hosting Shopify offers.

If you decide to go with Shopify, you may get a discount by using our link to sign up. While we often make commissions on purchases made through our links, this had no bearing on Toby’s review.

Here’s what Toby found in reviewing Shopify:

Advertiser Disclosure
Shopify's Overall Rating (4.6 / 5.0)

Best Overall Rating

4.6
★★★★★

Price:

Setup Time:

Toby Sembower

Toby Sembower (HostingAdvice.com):

“Shopify is easily one of the more well-known eCommerce web builder platforms in the hosting industry. Plans are fully hosted, include a free site builder tool, and allow you to showcase an unlimited number of products with unlimited file storage as well. Compared to other web hosts, Shopify is not going to offer you the same level of robustness in terms of technological offerings, but the company's ecommerce features are on point. Online store building is Shopify's bread-and-butter service, and the company is darn good at it.

First of all, the Shopify theme store features hundreds of free and premium theme options that are relatively easy for customers to manipulate. Dev-savvy folks can further customize their storefronts and themes via the Shopify API. You can actually start building your online marketplace today — for free for 14 days — and select your plan later. The Shopify experts are on call and ready to help 24/7.

Once you've built your online store with Shopify, build your business by processing product transactions through a myriad of payment methods. Shopify users can sell via social media, by integrating a Buy Now button, or by using the Shopify POS system. Serious ecommerce folks may opt to purchase the retail package add-on, which includes a cash register, receipt printer, and barcode scanner.

All in all, Shopify offers everything you need to run an efficient and lucrative online business. The commerce-oriented features are many, and they only advance with each upgrade in service package. Also, you can buy or transfer your domain name, or park your online store at a free MyShopify.com subdomain. If you're ecommerce-focused, trust Shopify for your online store building.”

  • Sell via social media or hosted commerce platform
  • FREE website builder and hundreds of themes
  • Unlimited products and unlimited bandwidth
  • PayPal or Shopify point-of-sale systems
  • Advanced reporting and real-time shipping updates
  • Try Shopify FREE for 14 days.
Money Back Guarantee
14-Day FREE Trial
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
FREE subdomain
Setup Time
5 minutes
Shopify's Cheap Hosting (4.6 / 5.0)

Cheap Rating

4.6
★★★★★

Price:

Setup Time:

“The great thing about Shopify is how the feature set centers around ecommerce, a focus of many shared hosting shoppers. Shopify plans are fully hosted, but even the company's most basic plan is significantly more costly than a majority of the shared hosts we've come across. The 14-day free trial is key to Shopify's success, giving customers a chance to try out the platform before committing to such an expense.

If you're serious about building an online store, however, Shopify offers a superb range of plan options and feature additions to make successful stores happen within a reasonable budget. Plus, you can host your business at a complimentary MyShopify.com subdomain, or at a new or existing domain of your own.

All plans allow you to showcase an unlimited number of products, and you can sell them via Facebook, a Buy Now button, or the Shopify POS system. Accept payments via Shopify Stripe and ask for help when you need it, because the Shopify experts are available around the clock to help with anything from Shopify theme development to transaction issues. As you're building your online marketplace, you have hundreds of customizable themes to choose from, and the more technically inclined user can manipulate themes via the Shopify API.

Shopify is great for online store building. It's a one-stop shop for building and hosting an online marketplace and should be considered as such. If you're looking for a super cheap shared hosting option, there are other providers to consider, but if you want a leading ecommerce platform, Shopify may be your winner.”

  • Site builder with FREE and premium themes
  • Unlimited bandwidth, storage, and products
  • Easy-to-use dashboard for managing orders, shipping, and payments
  • Tons of features, including discount codes
  • FREE MyShopify.com subdomain or use your own
  • Try Shopify FREE for 14 days.
Money Back Guarantee
14-Day FREE Trial
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
FREE subdomain
Setup Time
5 minutes
Shopify's Dedicated Hosting (not yet rated)

"We haven't evaluated Shopify for this type of hosting service — yet. Either the company didn't offer this option at the time this review was written or this section of the review hasn't made it to the top of our editorial queue just yet. Either way, check back later, as we're always working to keep our reviews up to date and as comprehensive as possible!"

Toby Sembower

Toby Sembower, Tech Expert

Want Toby to review your hosting service? Request a review.

Shopify's VPS Hosting (not yet rated)

"We haven't evaluated Shopify for this type of hosting service — yet. Either the company didn't offer this option at the time this review was written or this section of the review hasn't made it to the top of our editorial queue just yet. Either way, check back later, as we're always working to keep our reviews up to date and as comprehensive as possible!"

Toby Sembower

Toby Sembower, Tech Expert

Want Toby to review your hosting service? Request a review.

Shopify's WordPress Hosting (3.8 / 5.0)

WordPress Rating

3.8
★★★★

Price:

Setup Time:

“Although Shopify isn't your traditional web host, WordPress fans can take advantage of Shopify's ecommerce capabilities without redoing their online store. For just $9 per month, you can integrate a Shopify Buy Now button into your existing WordPress blog. The Shopify experts will generate a few lines of code for you and — voila — a stand-alone storefront is made for your site. Plus, you can customize via the Shopify API.

All you have to do is add your unlimited number of products and your Shopify/WordPress online store is officially in business. You benefit from all the easy payment processing solutions, including the Shopify Stripe Payment system, which accepts debit and credit cards. If you decide to upgrade your Shopify plan, the USPS shipping discounts and ecommerce features advance with you; you can even get a free SSL certificate.

Shopify is a fine option for implementing top-notch ecommerce functionality into your existing WordPress website. It's not necessarily the most cost-conscious option, but for those who are serious about online store building, Shopify is certainly worth considering.”

  • Add a Buy Now button to your WP site for $9/month
  • Easily copy and paste Shopify-generated code to sell unlimited products
  • Customize the button's colors to match your brand
  • 100+ payment gateways accepted with secure checkout
  • Process transactions easily with Shopify Stripe Payments
  • Try Shopify FREE for 14 days.
Money Back Guarantee
14-Day FREE Trial
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
FREE subdomain
Setup Time
7 minutes
Shopify's Website Builder (4.5 / 5.0)

Website Builder Rating

4.5
★★★★★

Price:

Setup Time:

“Shopify is a fully hosted web building platform that specifically serves the ecommerce niche. All plans include a free site builder tool and you can browse the Shopify theme store for a design that most closely matches your brand. Themes are fully customizable, with drag-and-drop elements or the Shopify API. Best of all, you can start building your store at no cost with Shopify's 14-day free trial.

Host your online store at a new or existing domain name, or take advantage of the free MyShopify.com subdomain the company provides. The Shopify experts have made it simple to display and sell an unlimited number of items online, and processing them is a snap. The Shopify Stripe Payments system allows merchants to accept and process credit and debit transactions after customers make a purchase via Facebook, by clicking on a Buy Now button, or on other social media platforms. Depending on which plan you sign up for, you can get advanced reporting, shipping, and shopping cart features as well. All plans include the option to entice customers with discount codes, too!

If you're shopping for a web builder to build an online store, look no further than Shopify. Build your business, build your brand, and boast an unlimited number of products with ease. Online store building is Shopify's specialty, and the team is available to help you any time of day.”

  • Plans include a website builder with tons of Shopify themes
  • Get help with your name, logo, and online presence
  • Sell unlimited items via social media, a button, or POS
  • Developers can easily build on the platform via the API
  • Shopify experts available 24/7 to assist you
  • Try Shopify FREE for 14 days.
Money Back Guarantee
14-Day FREE Trial
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
FREE subdomain
Setup Time
5 minutes

Features

(4.8 / 5.0)

Sell Via Social or the Shopify POS

  • It's easy to sell an unlimited number of products with the Shopify Stripe Payment system.
  • Merchants can sell via Facebook or other social media platforms, by adding a Buy Now button, or using the Shopify POS system.
  • You can upgrade your Shopify POS with the retail package add-on, making it easy to track your employees' sales with individual PINs. The package includes a free barcode scanner, cash register, and receipt printer, so you can safely accept and maintain all payments.

Shopify Partners Earn Client Revenue Share

  • More than 243,000 merchants trust Shopify. Build your business up, offering clients everything they need to launch an online store, with the Shopify Partners program.
  • Shopify partners with agencies and freelancers, allowing them to earn 20, 70, and 80 percent of sales for client referrals, ecommerce themes, and apps, respectively.
  • Get access to exclusive resources to expand your business, including marketing materials, workshops, webinars, and private forums.

Shopify Theme Store Makes it Simple

  • All plans are fully hosted and include a web builder tool, so you can actually build and host a virtual store with Shopify. WordPress users can also integrate Shopify into their existing Wordpress hosted website relatively easily.
  • The Shopify theme store includes hundreds of free and premium Shopify themes for you to use to customize an online store to your liking. Shopify theme development can easily be manipulated via the Shopify API.
  • Best of all, you can start building your online marketplace at no cost and select a plan later. Shopify offers a FREE 14-day trial because the company is that confident you'll love them.

Advanced Ecommerce Features Available

  • Fraud analysis tools are included with the Shopify Payments system. Orders can be created manually on all plans and merchants can choose to implement discount codes to entice buyers.
  • The ecommerce deals only get better with each plan upgrade. Premium users can gain access to advanced reporting features, abandoned cart recovery, gift card capabilities, and even a free SSL certificate.
  • All plans included 24/7 support from the Shopify experts and the USPS shipping label discounts increase as you upgrade to the Basic, Pro, and Unlimited plans.

Ease of Use

(4.3 / 5.0)
Easy-to-Customize Shopify Themes
Shopify Review
Theme Development Via the API
Shopify Review
Simple Payment Processing
Shopify Review

Shopify makes it about as easy as feasibly possible to get started, beginning with a 14-day free trial. The company's website is pretty intuitive and lays out everything you need to know before taking the plunge to pick a plan. Overall, you're going to get more robust technology with a web host, rather than an ecommerce web builder, but Shopify's ease of use is pretty great.

Pricing

(4.5 / 5.0)

Basic Shopify

Shopify

Advanced Shopify

Shopify pricing can get pretty lofty — reaching $299 dollars for the advanced monthly plan — but the company's other plans offer plenty of features to get your online store built and online relatively painlessly. With each hike in cost comes a package upgrade that includes added ecommerce features like gift card functionality or advanced tools for reporting, shopping carts, and shipping. Depending on what your online store building needs are, you can certainly find a Shopify package that suites your ecommerce expectations. Don't forget: it's all fully hosted!

Reliability & Support

(4.5 / 5.0)

Shopify services are fully hosted, but you can't expect an ecommerce platform to be as robust as some of the more advanced exclusively hosting companies' technology. The company doesn't offer an uptime guarantee, as you'd expect to find with more traditional web hosts, but Shopify does offer the 24/7 assistance of the friendly Shopify experts.

Shopify Includes:

24/7 Expert Support via Phone and Email

Does Not Include

Uptime Guarantee

Other Hosts vs. Shopify

Wondering how Shopify stacks up againt other web hosting services? See our host-vs-host reviews below and compare them side by side.

Web.com vs Shopify

Overall Rating

★★★★★ 4.6/5.0
Web.com vs Shopify

Overall Rating

★★★★ 4.2/5.0

Shopify vs. HostGator

Choosing between HostGator and Shopify ultimately comes down to picking between a specialist or general practitioner.

See full comparison »
HostGator vs Shopify

Overall Rating

★★★★★ 4.6/5.0
HostGator vs Shopify

Overall Rating

★★★★★ 4.5/5.0

Shopify vs. Wix

Wix and Shopify hold powerful reputations in the web hosting industry — each for different reasons.

See full comparison »
Wix vs Shopify

Overall Rating

★★★★★ 4.6/5.0
Wix vs Shopify

Overall Rating

★★★★★ 4.6/5.0

Shopify vs. Volusion

In the Black Friday shopping spree of empowering eCommerce site builders, Shopify and Volusion are always at the front of the line when the doors open.

See full comparison »
Volusion vs Shopify

Overall Rating

★★★★★ 4.6/5.0
Volusion vs Shopify

Overall Rating

★★★★★ 4.7/5.0

Shopify vs. GoDaddy

Here we have two very different players in the hosting space.

See full comparison »
Shopify vs GoDaddy

Overall Rating

★★★★★ 4.6/5.0
Shopify vs GoDaddy

Overall Rating

★★★★★ 4.7/5.0

Shopify vs. iPage

There are a number of factors that lead to a successful fishing trip.

See full comparison »
Shopify vs. iPage

Overall Rating

★★★★★ 4.6/5.0
Shopify vs. iPage

Overall Rating

★★★★★ 4.9/5.0

Shopify vs. Bluehost

It seems like everyone’s selling something online these days — and for good reason.

See full comparison »
Shopify vs Bluehost

Overall Rating

★★★★★ 4.6/5.0
Shopify vs Bluehost

Overall Rating

★★★★★ 4.9/5.0

Shopify vs. Weebly

Both Weebly and Shopify are bona fide drag-and-drop website builders with the ability to host online stores — but the companies take drastically different paths when helping entrepreneurs.

See full comparison »
Weebly vs Shopify

Overall Rating

★★★★★ 4.6/5.0
Weebly vs Shopify

Overall Rating

★★★★★ 4.9/5.0

Shopify vs. WordPress

When looking for stable, secure, and simple platforms to start or grow an online business, Shopify and WordPress are two of the best.

See full comparison »
WordPress vs Shopify

Overall Rating

★★★★★ 4.6/5.0
WordPress vs Shopify

Overall Rating

★★★★★ 5.0/5.0

Shopify is the winner
2 out of 9 times.

The Rundown

Toby Sembower

Toby Sembower

Hosting Expert:

To recap, here's a rundown of what Shopify has to offer

The Shopify experts have built a platform from which anyone can easily launch an online business and customize it to match their personal brand via free and premium Shopify themes. All packages include fully hosted services, a free site builder, and a boatload of ecommerce features that only increase and advance with each plan upgrade. All in all, if you're looking for an exclusively ecommerce website, Shopify makes it super easy to boast an unlimited number of products and accept payments for them via a multitude of ways, such as social media, a flashy Buy Now button, or the Shopify POS system. If an online store is what you need, Shopify can help you create it.

Shopify review

Overall Rating

4.6 / 5.0
★★★★★

About The Author

Toby Sembower built and hosted his first website in 1998, when the Internet was often annoyingly referred to as "the information super-highway." Toby is the first to admit that site was plain terrible. Nonetheless, it piqued his interest in the web, and he would go on to build, own, and operate (and host externally) sites totaling 100+ million visits on a variety of subject matters. Today, Toby is the founder and Chairman of the Board at Digital Brands Inc., a fast-growing firm that owns and operates a number of popular web properties.
Toby Sembower
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